Gartner: Worldwide PC shipments up 10% in Q2

Worldwide PC shipments experienced double-digit growth in the second quarter, the first time since the third quarter of 2000, according to preliminary market research published Wednesday by Gartner Inc.

Second-quarter shipments increased 10% from the same period last year to 32.8 million, the Stamford, Conn.-based market research company said in a statement.

Charles Smulders, vice president of Gartner's worldwide computing platforms group, said the PC industry performed better than expected, suggesting that market conditions are improving. He warned, however, that sustained improvement will depend on economic conditions and their effect on the business upgrade cycle.

Recent survey data from Gartner confirmed that U.S. corporate IT budgets remain tight.

Four of the five top-tier vendors worldwide achieved double-digit growth rates in the second quarter. Dell Computer Corp. was the No. 1 vendor, with a 17.6% market share, shipping 5.8 million PCs in the second quarter, compared with 4.6 million the year before. That represents a growth rate of 29.5%.

On the heels of Dell was Hewlett-Packard Co., with a 16.1% market share. In the second quarter, HP shipped 5.3 million PCs, compared with 4.7 million the year before, representing a growth rate of 12.1%.

Even though IBM was able to increase its growth by 13.4%, shipping 2.2 million PCs, the company remained a distant third, with 6.7% market share.

Fujitsu Ltd., in fourth place, shipped 1.3 million units in the second quarter, or 10.8% more than the year before, accounting for a 4% market share.

NEC Corp. was the only top-five vendor to experience a second-quarter dip in shipments, down 2.7%. The vendor has a market share of 3.1%.

Second-quarter PC shipments in the U.S. rose 11.1% due in part to strong demand from the consumer and education segments, according to Gartner. Competitive pricing and mobile PCs were important drivers in the home market, Smulders said.

In the U.S. market, Dell also led the pack with a second-quarter growth rate of 26.1%, shipping 3.7 million units. With a market share of 31.1%, the company nearly surpassed the combined 32.8% unit shipment share of HP, IBM, Gateway Inc. and Apple Computer Inc., the other vendors in the top five, according to Gartner.

The PC market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa performed above expectations in the second quarter, with unit shipments up 13% over the same period from the year before, according to preliminary figures released by Gartner in a separate statement on Wednesday. This growth was the strongest in the region since 1999, the market research group said.

The positive growth rate, however, masks divergent trends in business and consumer PC demand, according to Gartner. While PC sales to consumers failed at the end of the first quarter of 2003 to rebound from the slowdown, shipments to businesses accelerated, the group said.

In Europe, HP was the top vendor, with a 19.4% market share and 13.3% growth rate in the second quarter. HP shipped 1.7 million units in the second quarter, compared with 1.9 million year last year.

Even though Dell, with a market share of 9.7%, remained a distant second to HP, the company showed a strong second-quarter performance with a growth rate of 31.2%.

European vendor Fujitsu Siemens Computers (Holding) BV was the third-largest supplier, with a market share of 6.6% and a growth rate of 3.8%. Fujitsu Siemens was followed by IBM, with a 5.7% market share and 18.9% growth rate. And Acer Inc., second only to Dell with a growth rate of 25.3%, was the fifth largest supplier of PCs in Europe with a market share of 4.6% in the second quarter.

PC shipments in the Asia-Pacific region fell below expectations, largely because of the effects of the severe acute respiratory syndrome on business activity in China, Gartner said. Data on unit shipments in the region weren't immediately available.

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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